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J Pediatr. 2013 Aug;163(2):339-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.01.059. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Food choice and overconsumption: effect of a premium sports celebrity endorser.

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Kissileff Laboratory for Study of Human Ingestive Behavior, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.



To determine whether exposure to celebrity endorsement in television (TV) food advertising and a nonfood context would affect ad libitum intake of the endorsed product and a perceived alternative brand.


A total of 181 children from the UK aged 8-11 years viewed 1 of the following embedded within a cartoon: (1) a commercial for Walker's Crisps (potato chips), featuring a long-standing celebrity endorser; (2) a commercial for a savory food; (3) TV footage of the same endorser in his well-known role as a TV presenter; or (4) a commercial for a nonfood item. Children's ad libitum intake of potato chips labeled "Walker's" and "supermarket brand" was measured using ANOVA.


Children who viewed the endorsed commercial or the TV footage of the endorser outside of a food context consumed significantly more of the Walker's chips compared with children in other groups. These children did not reduce their intake of the supermarket brand product to compensate; thus, the endorser effect contributed to overconsumption.


The influence of a celebrity endorser on food intake in children extends beyond his or her role in the specific endorsed food commercial, prompting increased consumption of the endorsed brand even when the endorser has been viewed in a nonfood context. Our data suggest that the ubiquitous nature of celebrity media presence may reinforce unhealthy eating practices in children, although research with other endorsers is needed.


BMI; Body mass index; HFSS; High fat, sugar, and/or salt; TV; Television

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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